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Alumni Panel Highlights Versatility of VU Degree

Posted By Vanderbilt Magazine On March 16, 2009 @ 12:37 pm In Spring 2009, The Classes | No Comments

Four successful alumni led a panel discussion for current students Jan. 29, revealing the versatility of their Vanderbilt degrees.

“Life After VU: Where My Vanderbilt Degree Has Taken Me” was the latest in a series of events designed to provide students with an alumni perspective of life after Vanderbilt. The panel discussion was followed by an informal networking reception.

Participating in the event were Bob Boniface, BA’87, director of advanced design for General Motors North America; Abby McLucas Larson, BA’01, founder of the popular Style Me Pretty wedding-planning blog; Patrick Ilabaca, BA’97, MBA’01, vice president of event marketing and interactive media for Fox Pan American Sports; and Jeff Rothschild, BA’77, MS’79, vice president of technology for Facebook.

Panelists shared stories about their various career paths, proving that the degree one earns isn’t always indicative of the career one will end up with.

Bob Boniface, BA’87, talks with current students at the January “After VU” alumni panel event. A psychology major while at Vanderbilt, Boniface now designs cars for GM.

Bob Boniface, BA’87, talks with current students at the January “After VU” alumni panel event. A psychology major while at Vanderbilt, Boniface now designs cars for GM.

“I think I did some of my best car designs on the backs of my economics notebooks here at Vanderbilt,” said Boniface, who majored in psychology but today is designing the new Chevy Volt electric car for GM. “Having that degree from a prestigious university like Vanderbilt really opens a lot of doors for you.”

Ilabaca, whose undergraduate degree was in economics, said, “Despite your expectations of what you’re going to become, at some point you just have to follow what you want to do, no matter what it may be. Don’t think that any job—including cleaning warehouses—isn’t good enough for you, despite your academic achievements or degrees.”

During their visit, the panelists took time to speak to some classes and also participate in student roundtables hosted by the Vanderbilt Career Center.


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